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How to Get Better DROID Turbo Battery Life

GottaBeMobile - Thu, 02/19/2015 - 00:06

How to Get Better DROID Turbo Battery Life is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

In recent years our smartphones have continued to get bigger and more powerful, but sadly battery technology has remained the same. That isn’t stopping smartphone makers though, as they continue to put bigger batteries inside our phones, and the impressive DROID Turbo is a prime example with a massive 3,900 mAh battery.

Released late last year Motorola’s DROID Turbo is unlike any other phone available from carriers in the US. It has a large 5.2-inch Quad-HD display, a powerful processor and more, and that’s all powered by a huge 3,900 mAh battery promising 48 hours of usage.

Read: DROID Turbo Review

However, most phones rarely last more than a day, so with that below we have a few useful tips, settings, and suggestions to help owners get the most out of their DROID Turbo. It already has class-leading battery life, but for those seeking even more from their smartphones here’s how to get better battery life with the DROID Turbo.

Starting with the original Moto X released in 2013 Motorola has done an excellent job with some neat software features for most of their smartphones. These are useful, while also managing to sip on the battery so owners can get the most out of their phones for as long as possible. Things like always-listening modes for hands-free voice controls with Moto Voice, Active display, and another awesome feature we’ve talked about lately called Attentive Display. All of these and more can help you get better battery life and a longer lasting Turbo.

Before we begin, it’s worth noting the first thing you’ll want to do is use the charger that came with the DROID Turbo. It, combined with some technology inside the device, you’ll enjoy Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 that allows for over 60% faster charging from previous years. When the device is under 20% battery they have a new Turbo Charge that gets you 8 hours of usage after just 15 minutes connected to the wall. This same technology is in the Nexus 6, Galaxy Note 4, and a few other devices released late last year.

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The DROID Turbo already has some of the best battery life of any Android smartphone, but we can always use a little more. There’s no point in disabling features so our phones last longer, because then what’s the point of having a smartphone. With that, here’s some options you can do that won’t hinder the experience while getting more from the Turbo.

Moto Display

First up is Moto Display. Simply navigate to the Settings menu and tap the “Moto” button which brings you to Moto Assistn, Actions, Display, and Voice. Moto Display will let the screen fade in and out of being turned on, in a low-power black and white state giving you at-a-glance details about incoming notifications.

From here you can slide up to instantly go into that app, or dismiss the notification. Rather than fully light up that big screen and drain the battery, this feature uses a low power mode to easily show notifications without sacrificing battery life. Something we wish more smartphones could do.

The black and white display uses far less power than a fully lit and colored screen, so make sure this is enabled in the “Moto” menu in settings.

Screen Brightness

Speaking of that big 5.2-inch Quad-HD display, nothing drains the battery quicker than the screen. It’s good to have a fair screen brightness, and a sleep timer that shuts off the screen when not in use or being interacted with. This, alone, will save you more battery than almost anything else. The screen is the #1 drain on your battery, so remember that.

Head into settings > display > brightness and adjust it to what works best for you. Many use auto, but personally I stick to around 30-35% brightness on the slider. Then set the “sleep” feature to turn off the screen after 30 seconds of inactivity. This will turn off and dim the screen when you’re not using it, to preserve that important battery life.

Attentive Display

Alternatively, users can opt not to mess with the sleep timer and settings mentioned above, and use another fantastic Moto feature called Attentive Display. This uses sensors on the front of the device to essentially know when you’re looking at the phone and keep the screen on, ignoring the sleep timer, and will automatically dim and turn off the screen when you look away.

It’s a very smart feature that many don’t know about, and one you’ll want to use. I have this enabled on my Turbo, rather than use the sleep feature mentioned above.

Read: How to Use Attentive Display on the DROID Turbo

For this head into settings by taping the gear shaped settings icon in your app tray, head to display, and tap Attentive display. From here turn this on and adjust to your preference.

Location and GPS

Another large drain aside from the actual screen is location data and GPS. These chips inside the phone can constantly be talking to Facebook, Google Maps or Navigation, and other 3rd party apps and will make a huge dent in your battery life. With Android 4.2 Jelly Bean Google changed this, and it’s even better in Android 4.4 and Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Head to Settings > Location > and set the mode to Battery Saving. This uses WiFi and mobile networks to determine your phones location, rather than the power-hungry GPS chips inside your device. Navigation may not be as accurate, but still seems to work just fine and get me to places when battery saving mode is enabled.

Battery Saver (Android 5.0)

The DROID Turbo is currently running Android 4.4 KitKat, but an update to the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop should be here soon, possibly before the end of the month. With Android 5.0 Google introduced a new battery saver mode that’s rather useful and customizable, and this will be one more feature DROID Turbo owners can use. It turns off non-essential apps and services once your battery gets to a certain point, to save as much as possible for important things like calls and texts.

Final Thoughts

The DROID Turbo already comes with a Turbo Charger in the box, but you can get another one from Motorola that costs $34.99 and will boosts battery life by 8 hours after a 15 minute charge. I have a spare for the living room, and a high output charger for the car. Whenever I’m sitting around, my device is plugged in just to top-off as much juice as I can whenever possible. It’s a habit, and something others should try. It’s bad to let the battery completely drain often, so do top-offs to keep a healthy charge in the long run.

The Power Pack Micro from Motorola is also a great way to keep the Turbo charged on the go. It fits on your key ring and acts as a finder when you have your DROID Turbo but can find where you left your car keys. The Power Pack Micro costs $39.99 and comes in a few different colors. That or get one of the many different awesome portable battery chargers available today.

How to Get Better DROID Turbo Battery Life is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

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T-Mobile Galaxy S5 Lollipop Update: 5 Things to Know

GottaBeMobile - Wed, 02/18/2015 - 19:26

T-Mobile Galaxy S5 Lollipop Update: 5 Things to Know is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

The T-Mobile Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Lollipop update is rolling out today which means that T-Mobile Galaxy S5 users now have access to their first major Android upgrade. Now that the update is rolling out, we want to take a look at five things we think every owner should know before updating to the Android 5.0 Lollipop update.

Samsung’s Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Lollipop update process has been slow. The update, which has been rolling out since December, still remains fairly limited in the United States where its hit a grand total of three Galaxy S5 variants.

The Verizon Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Lollipop update was the first to roll out. That update was followed by the Sprint Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Lollipop update. While the Verizon release came as a bit of a surprise given the carrier’s history, the Sprint Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 upgrade did not. Sprint is typically among the first to Galaxy Android updates.

Today, T-Mobile joined the party. The T-Mobile Galaxy S5 Lollipop update beat the AT&T and U.S. Cellular updates to the punch and those who own the T-Mobile branded model can now make their move up from Android 4.4 KitKat, the software that arrived on board the Galaxy S5 last year.

Before making that move though, we think there are a few things that you should know about the T-Mobile Galaxy S5’s first major update. This is a major update and it’s unlike anything you’ve seen. With that in mind, here are the five most important things we think you need to know right now about the T-Mobile Galaxy S5 Lollipop update.

Android 5.0 Is a Huge Update

First and foremost, you need to know that Android 5.0 Lollipop isn’t your standard update. This is maybe Google’s biggest Android release ever and it’s going to deliver some massive changes to the Samsung Galaxy S5 including a new design. The first thing that you’ll notice is that there is a lot more white. The other thing you’ll notice is that Samsung’s apps now fall in line with Google’s new Material Design. If you want some idea, have a look at the video below.

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In T-Mobile’s case, the carrier is also bringing Wi-Fi calling 2.0 to the table. Wi-Fi calling allows Galaxy S5 users to take phone calls over a Wi-Fi connection. It’s an extremely handy feature. The update improves the Wi-Fi calling feature and it also comes with a couple of bug fixes, one for one way audio on Wi-Fi calls and another for IPv6 email setup.

You Can Get It Now

If you own a T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S5 and you have already prepared for this update, you can go ahead and get the software right now. T-Mobile’s rolling the update out OTA but it’s also available through Samsung Kies. T-Mobile’s OTA process is typically pretty quick, it should become available within the next day or two for your device, but if it’s not there go ahead and use Kies.

Now, keep in mind, this is a massive update. It’s nearly 1GB in size which makes it much bigger than your standard Android upgrade. Mileage is going to vary based on Wi-Fi speeds so if you can, try to connect to a high-speed network to get the massive file downloaded and installed as quickly as possible.

Prepare for the Android 5.0 Lollipop Update

While it might be tempting to install the T-Mobile Galaxy S5 Lollipop update the second it pops up, for many of you it will be worth holding out, at least for a few hours.

We’ve put together a list of things we think all Galaxy S5 users should do before installing the Android 5.0 Lollipop update. The list includes using the Android 5.0 Lollipop update as an excuse to clean up the device (the software should eat up some internal storage so this will free up some extra space), backing up files ahead of the installation process and more.

Some of these steps might sound tedious but the more you prepare, the better off you’re going to be post-update. Android updates, especially big ones like Android 5.0 Lollipop, can be a tad unpredictable.

Proceed With Caution

Some of you might want to consider holding out for a few days rather than a few hours. Here’s why. We’ve been monitoring both the Sprint and Verizon Galaxy S5 Lollipop updates since their roll outs and we’ve discovered that they share some things in common. And we’re not talking about Android 5.0 Lollipop features. We’re talking about problems.

Both of these updates have delivered some big problems to Galaxy S5 owners on both carriers. Among them, issues with battery life, performance, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and more. Many of these issues appear to be isolated and we’ve heard that some issues have worked themselves out but we still recommend proceeding with caution.

The T-Mobile Galaxy S5 Lollipop roll out is young so we haven’t heard about any major problems yet but that could change as more users get the software on board. You don’t have to install the software right now and you might be better off waiting a few days for the smoke to settle and for T-Mobile Galaxy S5 users to deliver crucial feedback.

Fixes for Lollipop Problems

If you are worried about running into issues or if you’ve already run into T-Mobile Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Lollipop problems, we have some resources for you. First, we recommend checking out our list of common Galaxy S5 problems and fixes for those problems. This is going to be a great starting point for you T-Mobile Galaxy S5 users.

 

 

We’ve also put together an extensive guide on how to fix bad battery life on the Galaxy S5, post-Lollipop release. These tips and fixes could have a positive effect on your device should it start to exhibit battery drain in the days, or weeks, after the T-Mobile Galaxy S5 Lollipop release.From there, we encourage you to seek out feedback from other sites and from other Galaxy S5 users.

T-Mobile Galaxy S5 Lollipop Update: 5 Things to Know is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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The Galaxy S6 Launch Date: What We Know So Far

GottaBeMobile - Wed, 02/18/2015 - 18:29

The Galaxy S6 Launch Date: What We Know So Far is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

Over the past two months, Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors have hinted at everything from its specs to the Galaxy S6 release date to its launch date. The all-important Samsung Galaxy S6 launch date appears to be set in stone and today we want to take a look at everything we know so far about the device’s announcement date.

In the beginning of January, Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors started to gush out of CES 2015 in Las Vegas. Since then, we’ve seen an absolute flood of alleged Galaxy S6 details emerge details the device’s many key features, its supposed release date and carriers, and the Samsung Galaxy S6 launch date. The launch date is the term we use to describe the announcement day for a smartphone.

Samsung’s launch dates are typically huge spectacles that produce all kinds of necessary information for buyers. Specs, release date, accessories, carriers, and more usually emerge on stage as Samsung promotes the device ahead of its arrival on shelves around the world. That’s what makes the launch date so important.

What We Know About the Galaxy S6 Launch Date

As the avalanche of Galaxy S6 rumors continue, some consumers are tuning in for the first time and we want to get those people caught up to speed. Today, we want to take a look at what we know about Samsung and what we know about the Samsung Galaxy S6 launch date. This will outline all of the important details including date, time, and what we should see from Samsung when the lights go on in Barcelona.

Galaxy S6 Launch Date

Samsung hasn’t confirmed a Galaxy S6 launch date outright but it’s pretty clear, at least in our eyes, that the Galaxy S6 launch date will take place on March 1st in Barcelona, Spain.

Earlier this month, Samsung sent out invites to an Unpacked event set to take place on March 1st at Mobile World Congress. MWC is the same trade show that Samsung used to show off the Galaxy S5 last year and the Galaxy S2 before it. The company also tends to save Unpacked events for major smartphone launches like the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note.

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.@vladsavov It has to do with #TheNextGalaxy being announced at #Unpacked. #subtle

— SamsungMobile (@SamsungMobile) February 18, 2015

Those that need more proof need only look at Samsung’s Twitter account which continues to tease a series of smartphone features including the camera, charging speeds, and more. Oh, and Samsung itself says that the “Next Galaxy” will be introduced that day. It’s pretty clear that March 1st is the date that consumers need to circle on the calendar.

We still don’t know much about the event itself though we do know quite a whole lot about Samsung and its practices. Typically, its events last one to two hours and they include a steady of information presented by hosts. Some of these hosts are Samsung employees, others aren’t.

Galaxy S6 Launch Time

The Samsung Galaxy S6 launch event kicks off at 6:30 p.m. CET. March 1st is a Sunday which means that those who live in the United States will start getting a steady stream of Samsung Galaxy S6 news bright and early on the weekend. Specifically, the show will kick off at 9:30 PST.

This isn’t typical of Samsung, typically we get a launch during the working week, but this year is different. Keep that in mind if you live in the U.S. and you’re interested in the Galaxy S6.

Live Stream

There will be a live stream for those that won’t be in attendance in Barcelona. Samsung’s informed us that the live stream will take place at the usual location, http://www.youtube.com/SamsungMobile.

Those interested will want to bookmark that page ahead of time because that’s where the magic will happen. Expect the live stream to resemble something similar to the video above.

Galaxy S6

An Unpacked event isn’t complete without at least a few new products to show off. Last year for instance, the Galaxy Note 4 Unpacked event produced the Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge, and the Galaxy Gear S smartwatch. This year, rumors suggest that Samsung will have at least three new products on tap for consumers on March 1st.

The first, and most obvious, is the Samsung Galaxy S6. This is the regular variant and a device that’s currently the worst kept secret in the mobile world. We’ve seen everything from its display size to its screen resolution to its design leak out ahead of time leaving no stone unturned ahead of Samsung’s major launch event.

Our Galaxy S6 concepts bring the rumors to life.

We’ve covered the Galaxy S6 non-stop since the first rumors emerged and those that aren’t caught up will want to take a look at our comparisons to the iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy Note 4, and Nexus 5 to get caught up.

Samsung’s Galaxy S6 is expected to feature some dramatic changes and that puts greater importance on the launch event and Samsung’s live stream for those that are looking for a new smartphone.

Galaxy S6 Edge

We mentioned a Galaxy Note Edge. The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge is a variant of the Galaxy Note 4 and it comes with a bent display down the right side. The bent side provides new viewing angles and a taskbar filled with essential shortcuts.

Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors have all but confirmed a Galaxy S6 Edge variant though unlike the Galaxy Note Edge, it’s expected to feature a display that bends down over both the right and left sides of the device. Rumors indicate that the curves won’t be as big as the Galaxy Note Edge’s and that they will be reduced due to the device’s size.

Round Smartwatch

Finally, rumors indicate that Samsung will be announcing yet another wearable, a round smartwatch that’s expected to compete against the likes of the Apple Watch, LG G Watch, and Moto 360. This new smartwatch will supposedly run the company’s internal software, known as Tizen, though details about the project, codenamed Orbis, remain scarce.

These are the three devices rumored for the Unpacked event and all three appear likely at this point. We also expect to see a number of Galaxy S6 accessories emerge in and around the launch event and we should get a feel for who will be carrying the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge in the hours after the event concludes.

The Galaxy S6 Launch Date: What We Know So Far is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Nexus 5 Android 5.1 Lollipop Update Rumored Again

GottaBeMobile - Tue, 02/17/2015 - 23:47

Nexus 5 Android 5.1 Lollipop Update Rumored Again is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

Google’s mysterious Android 5.1 Lollipop update continues to show up on new devices though it remains unreleased for top Nexus smartphones and tablets. That could change in the future though as a Nexus 5 Android 5.1 Lollipop release has been rumored for arrival. Again.

Towards the tail end of last year, an Android 5.1 Lollipop rumor indicated that Google was cooking up another Android 5.0 Lollipop update for Android users. The rumor pointed to a massive bug fixer for Android 5.0 Lollipop problems. In the weeks that followed, Nexus users were greeted with Android 5.0.2 Lollipop and Android 5.0.1 Lollipop updates but no Android 5.1.

Earlier this month, Google confirmed an Android 5.1 Lollipop update out of nowhere. Google’s quietly been putting Android 5.1 on Android One devices in Indonesia and today, we learned that Android 5.1 is available on Android One models in the Philippines. Google’s since scrubbed all trace of the Android 5.1 update from its websites leaving Nexus users and owners of Google Play Edition devices scratching their heads.

While an Android 5.1 Lollipop roll out is still non-existent for Nexus users, it does look like one is on the way. Several weeks ago, it became clear that Google is least testing the Android 5.1 Lollipop update on the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, and Nexus 9. It still hasn’t confirmed any of these updates though new details have emerged today.

A new benchmark, first noticed by Dutch site TechTastic, shows a Nexus 5 model running an Android 5.1 Lollipop update. The benchmark is from the popular GeekBench database. The listing could mean that Google, or someone else, is testing the software on the Nexus 5 behind the scenes. It does not, however, mean that a Nexus 5 Android 5.1 Lollipop release is imminent.

If and when Google decides to push Android 5.1 Lollipop to Nexus devices, the updates will appear first in the company’s Android Open Source Project (AOSP) before moving out to Nexus 5 owners and owners of other Nexus smartphones and tablets Over-the-Air.

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At this point, the Android 5.1 Lollipop remains fairly mysterious though we’ve been able to glean at least one new feature. The one big change that’s been discovered is the ability to change Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections from the Quick Settings menu. This will allow Android users to quickly change settings without leaving an application. Given that it’s a big jump in version, we should see more than just one change.

The Android 5.1 Lollipop update was rumored to have a number of fixes on board, fixes that could quell some of the lingering Android 5.0 Lollipop problems still plaguing owners of the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and Nexus 9.

  • Silent mode added after missing on Android 5.0
  • General improvements in system stability
  • Improved RAM management
  • Fixes for sudden app closures
  • Improved battery management
  • Excessive consumption of network devices when used Wi-Fi fixed
  • Issues with wireless connections fixed
  • Problems with Okay Google function solved
  • Notifications problems solved
  • Some sound problems experience by certain devices fixed
  • Other improvements and changes

Currently, Google’s Nexus devices are running two different versions of Android. Some Nexus devices including the Nexus 5 are running Android 5.0.1 Lollipop, a bug fix update that rolled out several weeks ago to address some of the initial Android 5.0 Lollipop problems. Others, including the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10, are running Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, a newer bug fix update that also addresses some Android 5.0 problems.

For the moment, the Android 5.1 Lollipop update is limited to Android One devices in two very specific regions but it looks like Google could make an announcement for other devices at some point in the future.

Owners of Nexus devices will want to keep an eye out for new software in the weeks ahead. We expect more Android 5.1 Lollipop information to arrive ahead of Google’s official announcement as well.

Nexus 5 Android 5.1 Lollipop Update Rumored Again is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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HTC One M9 Release Details Continue to Emerge

GottaBeMobile - Tue, 02/17/2015 - 23:27

HTC One M9 Release Details Continue to Emerge is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

With the HTC One M9 release date quickly approaching and the official launch date set for March 1st, the leaks and rumors keep flowing in. After initial photos and rumors surfaced in January things slowed down, but over the past few days a few more details have started to emerge for those waiting.

The brand new HTC One M9 has been surfacing more and more over the past few weeks, and now it’s no secret that the company plans to announce its new smartphone on March 1st at the annual Mobile World Congress show. After a myriad of rumors suggesting all the HTC One M9 leaks we’ve seen thus far have been fakes in an attempt to hide the final product last month a new photo emerged showing what could be the true and final design of HTC’s next flagship phone, or two.

Read: HTC One M9 Rumor Roundup: What We Know So Far

As we all know, March 1st is the date in which HTC will take the stage and formally announce and reveal the new HTC One M9. We’ve seen countless leaks already, which may be fake, and after more photos and concept images emerged, the name was somewhat confirmed and more, however the past two days we’ve received conflicting reports on the name, and more info about the screen.

Yesterday some information surfaced suggesting the name will in fact be the HTC One M9 for the new smartphone that is currently being called the HTC Hima for a codename. This came in the form of some source code data and information right on an HTC.com website. This somewhat confirmed the name, but now the official HTC UK Twitter page said something different.

Let them stare. The new HTC One revealed 01.03.15. pic.twitter.com/qehl2KFmdz

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— HTC UK (@HTC_UK) February 17, 2015

According the the official HTC UK Twitter account, the upcoming and highly anticipated HTC One M9 smartphone will actually just be the “HTC One” or the New HTC One. There teaser image makes no mention of (M9) like last years HTC One M8, so this has many wondering just what HTC has planned.

All said and done a brand new and completely revamped HTC One smartphone is coming in a few weeks, and it could be announced and released on March 1st. We’ll have to wait and see.

Concept Fan-Made Render

Another thing that surfaced today that many prospective buyers will want to know is regarding the display on this new smartphone. It’s no secret it will have a big edge to edge glass display with no large bezels like previous versions, but it might not have a 2k resolution display either. Here’s the rumored specs.

HTC One M9 Specs (Rumored)

  • 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 Quad-HD screen (edge-to-edge glass front)
  • 2.3 GHz 8-core Snapdragon 810 processor (64-bit)
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB of internal storage and a micro-SD slot for expansion
  • 20 MP rear facing camera and 4 Ultrapixel front shooter
  • Android 5.0.1 Lollipop and HTC Sense UI 7.0
  • Dual HTC Boomsound Speakers with Dolby 5.1 Audio Technology
  • 2,880 or 3,000 mAh battery
  • more

That all said, a brand new leak provided by the often-accurate Twitter user and HTC developer LlabTooFer has revealed the screen with either stay at 5-inches, or be increased to 5.5-inches, but HTC will be keeping the 1920 x 1080p full HD display. He leaked some of the built-in background wallpapers for the device, and they’re of 1080p resolution.

Last year the LG G3 and Note 4 had 2560 x 1440 Quad-HD displays with a huge resolution for crisp text and video, but that can hurt battery life and not be that noticeable of an increase or “feature” worth the tradeoff in battery life. If these new leaks are accurate, the new HTC One will have the same size 5-inch 1080p HD display, a bigger battery, better design, smaller bezels, and overall just be an excellent smartphone in 2015.

In less than two weeks HTC will take the stage in Spain at the annual Mobile World Congress tradeshow and reveal the HTC One M9, the new HTC One, or whatever they’ll call it, and possibly even a bigger HTC One Max to take on the Galaxy S6, Galaxy Note 4, LG G4, and even the iPhone 6 Plus. We’ll have to wait and see. Does the lower 1080p full HD resolution matter to you? Let us know in the comments below.

HTC One M9 Release Details Continue to Emerge is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Tax Calculator: Estimate 2015 Tax Refunds for 2014 Taxes

GottaBeMobile - Tue, 02/17/2015 - 19:09

Tax Calculator: Estimate 2015 Tax Refunds for 2014 Taxes is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

Learn to use a tax calculator to figure out how much you owe or what your 2015 Tax refund will be for the 2014 taxes you need to file this year.

You can use tax calculator apps to figure out how much you will get back without spending the time to do your 2014 taxes. In addition to showing the 2015 tax refund, these apps can show you how much you might need to pay.

You can use the Android, iPad and iPhone tax calculator apps to get an estimate of your tax refund. You can also use these on the web at your computer if that is easier to use.

Right now users are filing 2014 taxes and estimating a 2014 tax return, but many of us call this a 2015 tax return because it is coming to users this year and many users plan to make a big purchase with a tax refund in 2015.

Use a Tax Calculator to get a free 2015 tax refund estimate.

We already looked into the security of tax apps and as long as you do your homework iPhone tax apps are safe to use. Once you file you can check your 2014 tax return status to find out when you’ll get your money. Here we will show you tax calculators that are safe to use and that will help you estimate your 2014 tax refund in a few minutes.

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You don’t need to pay to use a good income tax calculator. The big names in tax preparation offer free tax estimator tools that deliver a good estimate of 2014 tax returns, so you can figure out how much you will get back in 2015.

You don’t need to enter your Social Security Number, but you will need a good idea of your income and withholding, filing status, dependents, credits and deductions. If you need to file a complicated return for business income, a tax calculator may not be the best way to figure out your tax refund, but you can still use one.

The best tax calculator or tax estimator services are available online and in apps. You can safely use these to estimate your 2014 tax refund in less than 10 minutes. This hinges on entering the right information, so it helps to have your 2014 tax documents handy including your W-2, 10-99 and other forms.

You can use these tax calculator tools to estimate your 2014 tax refund with just a bit of information. These tax estimator tools include mortgage interest, charitable donations, job expenses, student loan interest, child care expenses, undergraduate degree program expenses, medical expenses, health car premium credit and more.

If you have a complicated return with a lot of deductions, you can still use one of these tax calculator tools, but it may take you more than 10 minutes.

Use a tax calculator app to get a free 2014 tax refund estimate.

It is also easy to use a tax calculator app on the iPhone, iPad or Android. Intuit makes the TaxCaster tool, a free tax refund calculator that you can run right from the iPhone, iPad or Android device.

The options and results should be the same on the web and on the iPhone, iPad or Android devices. There is not an option to save your progress and move to the web or move to the iPhone partway through the process. You can do this when you start to file taxes on the web or in an app, but the tax calculator will let you print your results and some will let you save them so you can come back to that service later.

Tax Calculator: Estimate 2015 Tax Refunds for 2014 Taxes is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

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The Galaxy S6 Release Date: Everything We Know So Far

GottaBeMobile - Tue, 02/17/2015 - 18:29

The Galaxy S6 Release Date: Everything We Know So Far is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

Despite the avalanche of Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors, the Galaxy S6 release date remains fairly elusive as we approach Samsung’s Unpacked event on March 1st. With that in mind, today we want to take a look at everything we know so far about the Samsung Galaxy S6 release date.

Over the past month and a half, Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors have been flying around teasing its specs, its design, its launch date, and its release date. Many of these rumors have started to firm up.

We now know that there’s a very good chance that the Samsung Galaxy S6 launch date will be March 1st. Samsung’s scheduled an Unpacked event in Barcelona, Spain and the company always uses its Unpacked events to debut flagship devices. The company’s even begun teasing its next Galaxy in a series of teasers for the event.

We also know about the Samsung Galaxy S6 specs. The Galaxy S6 is expected to feature a number of high-powered features and a brand new design aimed squarely at Apple and the metal iPhone 6. Samsung’s Galaxy S smartphones are always a spec showcase and the Galaxy S6 should be no different. It’s going to bring a ton of firepower to the table.

The Galaxy S6 concept below features a glass back that matches recent rumors.

One of the most important details, the Samsung Galaxy S6 release date, still remains out of reach though. The exact date is still a mystery in the buildup to the event leaving prospective buyers looking for answers.

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While we haven’t seen the Galaxy S6 release date itself emerge, we’ve seen a number of details emerge in recent weeks, details that have helped us put together a rough Galaxy S6 release date timeline for buyers. Today, we want to take a look at what we know about the Samsung Galaxy S6 release date ahead of Samsung’s big announcement on march 1st.

Galaxy S6 Launch Date & Live Stream

Let’s start with what we know about Samsung. We know that Samsung has an event planned for March 1st. There, the company will almost certain take the curtain down from around the Galaxy S6. And it’s there that we should officially learn about the Samsung Galaxy S6 release date.

Samsung always discusses the important details on stage and those details typically include the Galaxy S release date. As the years have gone on, Samsung’s gotten more specific with its information and now we get fairly specific details. It’s at this Unpacked event on March 1st where we expect to hear about the official Galaxy S6 release date for the first time.

Most prospective Galaxy S6 buyers won’t be in attendance at MWC 2015 in Barcelona but that doesn’t matter. Samsung will be hosting a live stream of its announcement which means that consumers all over the world will be able to tune in and gather all of the initial Galaxy S6 release date information if and when it arrives.

If you’re at all interested in the Galaxy S6 release date, it’s time to circle March 1st on the calendar. The Galaxy S6 is the worst kept secret in the smartphone industry right now and it’s clear that it will arrive on the first day of next month.

Galaxy S6 Release Date Inching Closer

We still haven’t seen the Galaxy S6 pass through the FCC, a necessary step before it can be released, but we have seen it start to get certifications ahead of its release date.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 release date is inching closer. We know this because the Galaxy S6 (SM-G920F) and Galaxy S6 Edge (SM-G925F) were both recently spotted cruising through the Global Certification Forum on their way to shelves. GCF certifications are just one of many certifications that the Galaxy S6 will receive ahead of its release date.

Our Galaxy S6 concepts bring the rumors to life.

It’s worth noting that these GCF certs are also for two variants of the Samsung Galaxy S6. The device is expected to come in two different makes, a regular model and a Galaxy S6 Edge, and both of those should come in a number of different flavors. So while these certifications are exciting, the company still has a long way to go.

Galaxy S6 Release Date Rumors

Samsung’s making progress behind the scenes but we still don’t know exactly when the company plans to release this phone. Thanks to Galaxy S6 rumors, we’re starting to get an idea.

Early Galaxy S6 release date rumors suggested that the device would arrive two to three weeks earlier than last year’s Galaxy S5 release. The Samsung Galaxy S5 release was in mid-April which would put the Galaxy S6 release in late March or early April. The few Galaxy S6 release date leaks that we do have seem to point in that direction.

A recent leak points to possible blackout dates for Samsung Mobile employees. The document suggests that employees are blacked out between March 22nd to March 30th and April 19th to April 27th. Companies often use blackout dates for major product launches and there’s speculation that these dates might be for the Galaxy S6.

A new leak from Android Police shows the same dates blocked off for Samsung employees. So not only do these dates align with each other, they all take place just a few short weeks after Samsung’s set to unveil the Galaxy S6.

The Galaxy S6 concept next to the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Alpha.

It’s not clear why there are two sets of dates though speculation is that one is for the regular Galaxy S6 and the other is for the curved Galaxy S6 Edge. This makes sense. Samsung took a staggered approach to the release of last year’s curved Galaxy Note Edge, a variant of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 that comes with a curved display.

Whatever the case, it’s looking like March and April are the safest bets for a Samsung Galaxy S6 release date. As for carriers, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon are all rumored to have the Galaxy S6 on tap. We’ve also seen several other carriers rumored including Canadian carrier Bell and several in Asia. It’s clear that this is going to be a worldwide release, just like the Galaxy S releases before it.

We should continue to see Galaxy S6 release date information emerge in the weeks ahead but for now, March 1st, March and April are the key dates that prospective buyers need to know about ahead of time.

 

The Galaxy S6 Release Date: Everything We Know So Far is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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HTC One M9 Rumors Continue Ahead of Release

GottaBeMobile - Mon, 02/16/2015 - 23:29

HTC One M9 Rumors Continue Ahead of Release is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

With the HTC One M9 release date quickly approaching and the official launch date set for March 1st, the leaks and rumors keep flowing in. After initial photos and rumors surfaced in January things went dark, but over the past few days a few more details have started to trickle in as the release nears.

The brand new HTC One M9 has been surfacing more and more over the past few weeks, and now it’s no secret that the company plans to announce its new smartphone on March 1st at the annual Mobile World Congress show. After a myriad of rumors suggesting all the HTC One M9 leaks we’ve seen thus far have been fakes in an attempt to hide the final product last month a new photo emerged showing what could be the true and final design of HTC’s next flagship phone, or two.

Read: HTC One M9 Rumor Roundup: What We Know So Far

As we all know, March 1st is the date in which HTC will take the stage and formally announce and reveal the new HTC One M9. We’ve seen countless leaks already, which may be fake, and after more photos and concept images emerged, the name was somewhat confirmed and more, this weekend we’re seeing signs of the name and device slogan or marketing campaign right on HTC’s website.

Since as early as last year we’ve been hearing about a successor to last years popular HTC One M8 smartphone, currently being called the HTC Hima. And while most rumors have already given the device a name, no reports have officially confirmed it, until recently. The new leakster to took over when @evleaks retired, @upleaks, is claiming his sources have confirmed the new phone will indeed be marketed at called the HTC One M9.

Confirmed?HTC Hima will be going to the market with marketing name HTC One M9.

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— @upleaks (@upleaks) February 4, 2015

That was revealed earlier this month, but doesn’t necessarily confirm the new device considering it’s still nothing more than a leak. This weekend however, according to TechTastic HTC is preparing its website for the device, and it’s name and some slogans are all over the HTC website source code.

Their sources found the name HTC One M9 multiple times while browsing through the HTC website. Not the HTC One (M9) or HTC Hima, the codename we’ve seen thus far, but actually “HTC One M9″ being mentioned multiple times. Some have speculated it will launch on March 1st as simply the HTC One, or even the HTC Two, but it looks more and more like the HTC One M9 will be called exactly what we’ve been hearing rumors about for months.

Read: HTC One M9 vs Galaxy S5: What We Know So Far

Along with countless sightings of the name being the HTC One M9, TechTastic also spotted a slogan or name for the marketing they’ll be using. Multiple references to “One Life” were also mentioned on the HTC One M9 pages that aren’t yet live on HTC.com.

It’s looking more and more like “One Life” or #OneLife will be the tagline for the upcoming smartphone, and it will be announced on March 1st as the HTC One M9, and possibly released the same day.

We’ve seen countless leaks speculating over the specs lately, and here’s the latest details on this new phone.

HTC One M9 Specs (Rumored)

  • 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 Quad-HD screen (edge-to-edge glass front)
  • 2.3 GHz 8-core Snapdragon 810 processor (64-bit)
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB of internal storage and a micro-SD slot for expansion
  • 20 MP rear facing camera and 4 Ultrapixel front shooter
  • Android 5.0.1 Lollipop and HTC Sense UI 7.0
  • Dual HTC Boomsound Speakers with Dolby 5.1 Audio Technology
  • 2,880 or 3,000 mAh battery
  • more

Again these are only rumors for now, but ones we’ve seen and heard countless times. The only questions that remain are if the screen will indeed be that size, when it will be released, and if the photos we’ve seen are real or if HTC has something completely new and different they’ll debut next month.

All said and done, the wait won’t be much longer as HTC has already confirmed they’ll be revealing the new HTC One M9 smartphone come March 1st in Spain. Surely more details and information will surface ahead of the announcement and release date, and we’ll be sure to share them as they become available.

HTC One M9 Rumors Continue Ahead of Release is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Top 6 Settings to Change on the DROID Turbo

GottaBeMobile - Mon, 02/16/2015 - 21:17

Top 6 Settings to Change on the DROID Turbo is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

In late 2014 the Motorola DROID Turbo was announced and quickly released as one of the best smartphones of the year. It has tons to offer including a brilliant 5.2-inch Quad-HD display and a huge battery, not to mention nearly stock Android 4.4 KitKat, but here we’ll detail a few settings you’ll want to change right away.

Hardware wise, there are a lot of reasons to get the DROID Turbo instead of a Samsung Galaxy S5 or Apple iPhone, and there are an array of features and settings on the software side that make the phone pretty impressive too. Below are six or so of the top settings you should change on your device.

Read: DROID Turbo Setup Guide: 5 Steps to Get Started

Whether you already have one or just got a DROID Turbo, these are some settings you can change right away to improve the experience, get better battery life, and just enjoy the phone to its fullest. Customizing it to recognize your voice for hands-free usage, increasing the font size and more. Check it all out below.

Before we start it’s worth mentioning our DROID Turbo is running stock Android 4.4 KitKat just like it comes out of the box. Soon it will be updated to Android 5.0 Lollipop and while most of these will remain the same, some of these options will be slightly different, or in new locations. Android 5.0 doesn’t change much, aside from visuals and add more features, but it was worth mentioning.

That said, enjoy everything your DROID Turbo has to offer, take pictures with the stunning 20 megapixel camera, and enjoy all-day battery life with the huge class-leading 3,900 mAh battery. With that, these are some settings you may want to explore and change.

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The DROID Turbo has a large 5.2-inch display, but the high 2560 x 1440 quad-hd resolution means some of the text may be too small for some. Every line, every graphic is crisp and clear. Still, there are some people who are going to find the writing on its screen too small. For those people, there’s a way to change the font size in a matter of seconds.

Go to the Settings app inside the app browser, or swipe down with two fingers from the top and tap the gear-shaped settings menu. Then tap Display. Now look for and tap on the Fonts option. There are four different sizes to choose from: Small, Normal which is the default, Large and Huge. Most use normal, but Large may better suit your needs.

Default Text Messenger App

With Android 4.4 KitKat Google made Hangouts the default messenger app for smartphones, but Motorola and Verizon devices use something different. The DROID Turbo has Motorola’s own Messenger+ app, and if you want something different you can easily change this.

To do so, go the Settings app and tap More. Then Tap Default SMS app. In here you’ll see whatever is installed, most likely just the red (stock) Messenger+ app and Google Hangouts. Personally I use Textra SMS, but try anything you want if the stock app isn’t quite your favorite.

That’s all you have to do, and now your stock messages will all be handled by the new app, and not the old. This disables the old SMS (text) app, and you won’t receive duplicate notifications on incoming messages like Android smartphones of old. This is a much better way of handling things.

Add a Password or Pin to Lockscreen

Google has a good setup guide when you first get your smartphone, but they don’t show or instruct you to add a password, pin, or patten to secure your lockscreen. This means if lost or stolen anyone can access your smartphone, which is our entire lives for most people. Head into settings and add a pin or password to secure your device.

Head into the Settings app and tap Security & lockscreen, then select Screen Lock. From here you can set slide to unlock (default), Face Unlock, Pattern, PIN, or even an actual password. Once you set one, you can then control the timeout period that controls how long after the device is turned off before it asks again. I don’t want to put in my pin every time I turn on the phone, so mines set to 5 minutes.

Enable Attentive Display

One extremely neat feature on the DROID Turbo and Moto X is something called Attentive Display. This essentially knows when you’re looking at the screen and will keep it on while you’re looking, then dim and eventually turn it off when you look away.

This will ignore the standard Display > Sleep Timer setting, but can make using the device easier, and save battery life. Tap on Display, then Attentive Display. Now tap the Battery Saver mode option.

Read: How to Use Attentive Display on the DROID Turbo

This is actually one of my favorite features, as I don’t like my screen on very long to keep battery life at its best, and this will dim and turn off the display whenever your not looking to preserve that all-important battery life.

Customize Moto Voice

Open the Settings app, and tap on Moto. Then tap Voice in the bottom-left corner of your screen. All four Moto options are worth exploring, but voice is one of our favorites.

From here you can customize the launch phrase of your Turbo. You can say “Ok, My Moto” Call Best Buy” and it will do all of this with the screen off. It learns your voice, and can to tons of useful things. Turn on voice pin to unlock in case you give your phone a command it can’t do from behind the lock screen and more. Moto Voice is one of those unique features only the Motorola offers Android users, even if it uses Google Now to do most of the work.

Disable Emergency Broadcast Alerts

Last but not least is one of those things you won’t need to worry about often, but when it happens it’s extremely irritating. This is emergency broadcast alerts. Out of nowhere your phone will start blaring an alarm at full volume, no matter what your settings are set to. This usually is for severe weather alerts, Amber alerts, or other Emergency broadcasts your city or state send out.

I keep a few on just in case, but these are extremely loud and very obnoxious, so lets turn some of the less important ones off.

Open your app tray and find the Verizon emergency app called Emergency Alerts and tap on it to open the app. Then tap the three dots at the top and select Settings. From here simply uncheck all that you don’t want as I’ve done above. I leave Extreme alerts enabled, but turn off the rest so my phone doesn’t scare me to death at random moments, day or night. Turn off vibrate too, because it vibrates loud, a lot, and at full power.

Conclusion

Of course there are tons of other options, settings, features, and useful things you can do with your Motorola DROID Turbo. Check out our full DROID Turbo review for more details, then give any of the above settings a try to get a better experience. When Android 5.0 Lollipop arrives check out Smart Lock, Do Not Disturb Notification options, and a few other things that are new to Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Overall the DROID Turbo is an excellent device, but each user have different wants and needs so in the end you’ll need to play around in settings to see and find what works best for you. Enjoy!

Top 6 Settings to Change on the DROID Turbo is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

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10 Best iMac Accessories

GottaBeMobile - Mon, 02/16/2015 - 19:04

10 Best iMac Accessories is a post by Craig Lloyd from Gotta Be Mobile.

While Apple has been focusing a lot of its attention on iPhone and iPad, the company’s iMac desktop computer is also a popular machine. Here are the 10 best iMac accessories to buy.

The iMac has a unique design, and many accessory makers try to take advantage of that by making accessories specifically for the iMac by duplicating the design in order to make it fit in with your desk setup.

There accessories like USB hubs, headphone holders, and even iMac stands that prop up your iMac while also doubling as extra storage and still keeping that brushed aluminum look so that it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.

There are a ton of accessories you can get for your iMac, but only a handful are really worth buying if you care about design just as much as function.

Without further ado, here are the 10 best iMac accessories that you can buy.

HiRise Stand

More than likely, your iMac’s display isn’t sitting at the right height. In fact, to top of your iMac’s screen should be horizontal with your eye level, meaning you probably need to prop up your iMac a bit in order to achieve this.

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Luckily, there’s a nifty product called the HiRise from Twelve South that props up your iMac, as well as serves as a functional storage bin that blends in with the design of the iMac.

The nice about the HiRise is that you can adjust the height of your iMac, thanks to multiple levels that you can use to find the right height for you. The foot of your iMac’s stand actually goes inside of the HiRise and acts as a shelf in itself to provide multi-level storage for other accessories.

It’s a bit pricy at $80, but the nice thing is that it blends in perfectly with the design of the iMac, and it doesn’t take away from the beauty of Apple’s desktop computer.

AluRack MacBook Holder

If you have an iMac and a MacBook, then chances are you probably don’t use the MacBook while you’re at home on your iMac, so why not store your MacBook in a way that it’s hidden, but also provides great looks?

The AluRack is a small MacBook holder that you attach to the back of your iMac and it lets you store your MacBook behind your iMac’s display, keeping it out of sight without taking up space on your desk. However, the nice about it is that it doesn’t look hideous, but rather a well-designed and aesthetically-pleasing accessory if your iMac doesn’t face a wall.

It’s priced at $50 and will be available at some point next month.

NuMount Desk Mount

One of the best ways to make your iMac more versatile, is by removing the default stand and mounting it to your desk via an articulating arm, which allows you to move around your iMac anywhere on your desk and without taking up surface area.

The NuMount is one of the cheapest desk mounts on the market at $119, and it’s a great option for those that want the ability to move around their iMac for different situations.

Kancha Headphone Holder

Need a place to hang your headphones when you’re not using them. Here’s a nifty headphone hook that’s specifically designed for the iMac.

The Kancha headphone hook is an accessory that requires no minimal installation. Simply place it on top of your iMac and hang your headphones from it.

It’s a product that originally started as a Kickstarter campaign and has taken off from there. They currently have two different models: one for the newer iMac with the slimmer body and one model for the older design that hangs off to the side.

Satechi USB Hub

One of the biggest gripes with the iMac is that all the ports are behind the display, including the USB ports. This is why a USB hub is an essential iMac accessory to have.

Satechi arguably has the best options when it comes to USB hubs for the iMac, including the Aluminum Clamp that you can attach to your iMac in order to have front-facing USB ports. There’s also the regular 4-port USB hub that has a brushed aluminum design that goes perfectly with the iMac, but it’s only USB 2.0.

They’re priced at $28 and $20, respectively, and are go-to accessories if you need easy access to USB ports.

Magic Trackpad

You may think that trackpads are only meant for laptops, but you’d be wrong. Many users like having a trackpad for their desktop computer as well, as it can be more precise than a mouse for certain tasks.

This is why Apple’s own Magic Trackpad is a great accessory for the iMac. It matches the keyboard and the brushed aluminum look goes well with computer. The nice thing about the Magic Trackpad is that it’s much bigger than a regular MacBook trackpad, giving iMac users more more to mouse around.

The Magic Trackpad is available in the Apple Store for $69.

WD My Book Studio

Every user needs an external hard drive, and they’re are getting cheaper and cheaper nowadays. You can easily get a couple of terabytes for under $100, which is amazing considering that wasn’t the case just a couple of years ago.

If you’re in the market for an external hard drive for your iMac, there are a lot of options to choose from. Not only are there several different kinds of external hard drives, but there are also a handful of manufacturers to choose from. You might get overwhelmed with your options, but only one really stands out as far as the best option for your iMac

Western Digital’s My Book Studio has a brushed aluminum look and it’s curves go well with the design of the iMac. You can get it for as low as $119 for 2TB or even 4TB for $159.

Apple SuperDrive

If you have a newer Mac that doesn’t include an optical drive, but need one for the occasional disc, an external disc drive is a great iMac accessory.

This is a pretty obvious option for iMac owners, but Apple has its own external DVD drive known as the SuperDrive, and it comes with the same aluminum design as the iMac, so it’ll match your setup nicely.

The only downside is that it’s $79, which is really steep for an external DVD drive, but it’s really the only way to go if you want a matching design. Here are some other options.

UCube Speakers

The built-in iMac speakers aren’t terrible, but you can easily get better sound with an external pair of speakers, and the UCube speaker set is a perfect match for the iMac.

the UCube speakers have their own stands that look identical to the iMac’s stand, making them perfect for setting on your desk next to your iMac. They also come in multiple colors, but if you want the same iMac-esque look, go with silver.

Logitech MX Performance Mouse

If the Magic Trackpad isn’t your kind of thing and you would rather have a mouse, Logitech’s MX Performance mouse is the best there is.

Apple’s own Magic Mouse isn’t all that great, despite its unique design that looks great on a Mac desk, but Logitech’s MX Performance has all the features you’d ever want out of a mouse, including great ergonomics and a handful of macro buttons that you can customize.

It doesn’t particularly match the style of the iMac, but it still looks great on any desk.

10 Best iMac Accessories is a post by Craig Lloyd from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Why do You Share?

The Tech Savvy Educator - Mon, 02/16/2015 - 18:47

It’s no secret that I have a very high-minded approach about how educators who blog should conduct themselves; blogging is a reflective practice that allows the world small windows into our lives. If we open the curtains a bit, we can encourage others to learn from what we’ve observed, share experiences and resources, and create communities in which discourse and disagreement can live happily (relatively speaking) alongside positive cheer-leading. If we’re inviting the world to peer into our lives, we as educators need to understand, and find ways to appreciate, that we don’t all have the same methods, thoughts, and attitudes when it comes to working in a professional environment. Push back is a good thing; stepping back from back-patting to ask difficult questions (in respectful ways) is a good thing; it brings out the reality that learning (and growing) is an active, messy struggle. It emphasizes the reality that great things can come from people who disagree, but can find meaningful ways to work together. That conversation deserves to be public.

I’ve discovered that my single-mindedness comes at a considerable professional cost in the new media landscape of “InstaTwitterVine.” The questions I ask myself, and the push back that I offer to those in public spheres cause others to question the value of my disagreement, or worse yet, will cause people to blindly ignore the critique, and respond only in a negative light. My goal is not to denigrate, but to better understand why we share with the world, and the value of our thoughts. We all share for different reasons, and how we share matters immensely. To accept the prevailing wisdom that “we share to improve the lives of learners” is poetically pleasing, but can be trite, overused, and hides the unintended consequences and motivations of why we share.

I don’t intend for this to be a post devoted to overwrought navel gazing, so I’ll get right to the point:

I share resources that I’ve created and researched for the staff I support in my school district. I share curiosities and creations that give me pause, and force me to rethink my world view. I share because I know I’m better when I work with others. I share because I often have much more to learn from those who disagree with my thoughts, than I do from those who agree with me.

Why do you share? There are NO wrong answers, and if we disagree about why we should share, that’s a point to celebrate! The art of handling professional disagreement is not something many educators are prepared for, but would be better off being equipped to tackle. The diversity we have as a greater educational community, and the conversation it invites is a strength, not a weakness to avoid. Our discordant thoughts are not a reason to shrink back in the face of opposition, or to discount someone else’s thoughts as trivial. Those ARE the wrong answers, if there are any at all.

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Release Date Clears Hurdles

GottaBeMobile - Mon, 02/16/2015 - 18:28

Samsung Galaxy S6 Release Date Clears Hurdles is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 release date has cleared a couple of hurdles ahead of Samsung’s highly anticipated March 1st launch date in Barcelona, Spain.

Samsung’s still not talking about its new flagship smartphone but it’s clear that the company’s got something up its sleeve for the new year. For weeks, Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors have leaked information about the Galaxy S6 specs, Galaxy S6 launch date and Galaxy S6 release date. All of those details will likely be confirmed on stage in early March when Samsung hosts its first Unpacked event of the year.

Early on in the Samsung Galaxy S6 rumor cycle, we saw reports hint at the Galaxy S6 release date. Those reports suggested that the Galaxy S6 release date would come a bit earlier than last year’s Samsung Galaxy S5 release which took place in April. Specifically, those rumors hinted at a Galaxy S6 release date two to three weeks earlier than last year’s mid-April release.

As the Galaxy S6 rumor cycle’s matured, we’ve seen Galaxy S6 release date rumors pick up. Last week, a couple of leaks hinted at Samsung employee blackout dates that span from March 22nd to March 30th and April 19th to April 27th. Companies often use blackout dates for big product releases and these dates fall right in line with Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors.

The Galaxy S6 concept next to the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Alpha.

Today, new Galaxy S6 release date information has emerged. Thanks to the eagle-eyed folks at Blog of Mobile, we know that the Samsung Galaxy S6 release is inching closer and closer. We know this because the Galaxy S6 (SM-G920F) and Galaxy S6 Edge (SM-G925F) both were spotted cruising through the Global Certification Forum on their way to shelves.

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GCF certifications are just one of many that the Galaxy S6 will receive ahead of its release date but the fact that we’re seeing the device pass this early is a good sign for the future and those hoping to get hands-on in the near future. We haven’t seen the Galaxy S6 clear the FCC yet though with a release rumored for late March, that could take place sometime soon.

Count on an upgraded 2k display, many sensors and an upgraded fingerprint reader.

If there was any doubt about the Galaxy S6 launch date, Samsung cleared the air last week with a new teaser that essentially confirms the Galaxy S6 launch date for March 1st. The teaser doesn’t offer any specific information but it’s clear that Samsung’s got a new Galaxy smartphone up its sleeve at its Unpacked event in Spain.

Samsung’s rumored to have two new Galaxy S6 models up its sleeve, one regular and one Galaxy S6 Edge with a curved display, and the arrival of these two blackout periods and these two GCF certifications point to two separate devices.Samsung’s Galaxy Note Edge was released several weeks after the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 so we could see the company employ something similar here with its Galaxy S6 release date. Both appear to be making progress though.

With the Samsung Galaxy S6 release getting closer, we’ve begun to see tons of new rumors and leaks hint at the Galaxy S6 specs, Galaxy S6 design, Galaxy S6 accessories, and more. Earlier this week, known Galaxy S6 model numbers emerged on Samsung’s website pointing to prep work behind the scenes.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 concept highlights a new design, 2K display and upgraded metal frame.

Galaxy S6 specs will supposedly include a 5.1-inch Quad HD display, Exynos 7 chip from Samsung, a 16MP or 20MP rear camera with Optical Image Stabilization, a 5MP front-facing camera, tons of storage space, Android 5.0 Lollipop featuring a toned down version of the company’s TouchWiz user interface, and more.

Recent Galaxy S6 rumors have focused in on the device’s design which is rumored to be made out of metal. For years, Samsung stuck to its plastic designs before shifting to a combination of metal and plastic on the Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge and Galaxy Alpha. Both the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge are expected to incorporate premium materials into their design.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 remains unconfirmed though we should only have to wait a couple of weeks before Samsung takes the stage to confirm all of the key details, including the Galaxy S6 release date.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Release Date Clears Hurdles is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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50 Google Search Tips & Tricks

GottaBeMobile - Sun, 02/15/2015 - 20:15

50 Google Search Tips & Tricks is a post by Craig Lloyd from Gotta Be Mobile.

While Google has moved on from just being a search engine and dipped into other markets, like mobile devices and even robotics, its roots still deal with searching the internet to find what you’re looking for. Here are ten Google Search tips and tricks that you may not know about.

Searching for something on Google is pretty easy; you type in a word or phrase and Google will pop up results. Sometimes you easily find what you’re looking for and other times you have to dig a little deeper. What you may not know is that you can type in more than just plain words into Google. In fact, using more than just plain words in your search can possibly lead to better and more relevant search results. Plus, you can take advantage of a ton of other Google Search features that go well beyond just the text box.

Google supports a ton of cool tricks that you can use in order to be better at searching for something and quickly find what you’re looking for. Using things like boolean terms and even some symbols can help you perform better searches on Google, and by the time you get done going through this list, you’ll be a Google Search master (or a reasonable facsimile thereof).

Without further ado, here are 50 Google Search tips and tricks to help you more easily find what you’re looking for on the internet.

Search Specific Websites

This is perhaps my most-used Google Search trick, and it allows you to perform normal searches, but the results that you get back will only be from a specific website that you specify in the search bar.

By typing in site:gottabemobile.com and then your search term, Google will spit back results only from GottaBeMobile.com (or any other website you specify).

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This is a great search trick to use if you saw an article in the past on a specific website, but forgot what the title was. Or if you want to look up a how-to and are loyal to a specific how-to website, this tricks works well for that too.

Find Animated GIFs

Animated GIFs are the best. They can convey our emotions much better than any regular text could, and they’re great to just watch over and over again. Using Google Search, you can search for only animated GIFs.

Simply perform a Google Image Search and then click on Search Tools below the search bar. From there, click on where it says Any type and select Animated from the drop-down menu. At that point, only animated GIFs will appear in the search results, although the GIFs won’t be animated until you click on one to view it.

Bypass Website Paywalls

Many news websites have paywalls, which block you from reading an entire article unless you pay for a subscription. Usually those subscriptions are fairly expensive and not worth it if you just want to read that one article. However, there’s a way around it using Google Search.

When you come across an article that requires you to pay for a subscription, simply just copy and paste the headline of the article into Google Search, and then click on the search result that pops up for that article. It’ll take you to the full article without you having to pay a cent.

Exclude Certain Results

If you want to search for something, but want to make it a bit more specific, you can use a minus symbol to narrow down your search a bit and exclude certain results that don’t fit within your parameters.

For instance, I want search for jaguars, but not the car brand. To do this, I simply type in jaguar -car and I’ll get results without car references in them.

Use Asterisks as Wild Card Words

If there’s a popular phrase that you can’t remember fully, you can use asterisk to your advantage and search for the entire phrase in Google.

Add an asterisk within a search as a placeholder for any unknown words. Type in something like a * saved is a * earned and you’ll get back different variations of the popular saying.

Use Periods for Results Within a Certain Number Range

If you’re shopping around for new appliances and want to buy something within a certain price range or find something that has specific measurements, you can use two periods to set a range.

You can separate numbers by two consecutive periods to see search results that contain numbers in a given range. Typing in washing machines $700..$1200 will show you results for washing machines within this price range.

Find Web Pages That Link to a Certain Site

If you want to know what web pages link to a certain website, Google allows you to do that. You can either be broad with your search, or show specific results based off of a search term.

For example, you can find all the web pages that link to GottaBeMobile.com by typing in link:gottabemobile.com. If you want to only show results that deal with the iPhone 6, you can type in link:gottabemobile.com iPhone 6.

Use Quotation Marks for Exact Matches

If you have a longer phrase that you want to search, Google will normally take those words individually and find results that match any of the words. However, using quotation marks can make the search a bit more accurate.

If you need to search for something like iPhone 6 with a case, you’ll usually end up finding searches with either iPhone 6 or case, not both, but you can use quotation marks to find results with the exact match.

Find Related Websites

If you found a website that you really like and want to find more websites that are similar, you can use Google to accomplish that by finding related websites.

For instance, if you really enjoy reading Consumer Reports, you can find similar websites in Google by typing related:consumerreports.org to see a list of related websites. Depending on the site, your results may not be entirely accurate, but it can be a good start.

Expand Your Results with OR

If you want to search for specific web pages, but are pretty flexible as far as what they contain, you can expand your results to include several keywords by including OR between the words. Otherwise, your results would usually show only web pages that match all the terms typed out.

For example, if you want to find information about past Olympics, but only within the last couple of decades, you can type in olympics 2012 OR 2008 to see results that contain either the 2012 Olympics or the 2008 Olympics.

View the Cached Version of a Web Page

If you perform a Google search and a result you click on takes you to a 404 (i.e., the web page doesn’t exist anymore), you can still view the web page in a state before it was taken down.

To do this, simply type in cache:URL, with the URL being the full web address of the web page. This will show you the last state that the web page was saved in before it was deleted.

Obtain More Info About a Website

With a neat Google Search trick, you can easily access the cached version of the web page, similar web pages and web pages that link to the site by performing a single search.

Simply typing in info:website (with the website being the URL), you can quickly view all of this information that’s only a click away.

Show Only Recently-Published Results

If you need the most recent results possible when doing a Google search, you can narrow down the results by when they were published using Google’s Search Tools.

To do this, perform your search like usual and once you get to the results page, click on Search Tools below the search bar. From there, click on Any time and then select a time frame. Choosing Past week, for instance, will only show results that have been published or updated within the past week.

Perform a Video Search

If you’re looking for videos on a particular subject, Google makes it really easy for search results to show only video links.

Simply go to videos.google.com and type in your search term, or you can just start with a search term and then click Videos at the top below the search bar.

Get the Definition of a Word

Not sure what a specific word means? Don’t worry, you can quickly look it up using Google without flipping through a dictionary.

To do this, simply type in define word (with “word” being the word you want the definition of). Google will give you an instant definition, as well as some examples and even synonyms that you can use.

Find Images at a Certain Size

When performing an image search with Google, you get back a lot of different results with photos of all image sizes. However, you can narrow it down to include photos that are a certain size.

Go to Google Image Search and perform a search. From there, you’ll get a ton of photos to look through. Click on Search Tools below the search bar andclick on Any size, then select a photo size. Unfortunately, you can’t select a specific resolution, but you can ballpark it with the options provided.

Look Up Flight Information

Most users have a travel app on their mobile devices that lets them quickly look up their flight information and see if there are any delays. However, you can also do this right on Google.

Aw crap, I missed my flight.

Simply typing in your flight number in the search bar will give you info about your flight, including when it will take off and if there are any delays or cancellations.

Convert Pretty Much Any Unit

Not sure how many grams are in a pound? Need to convert British pounds into US dollars? Google can help you with that.

Using the Google Search bar, you can convert pretty much any unit. It supports currency, measurements, volume and a ton more. Typing in something like 56mm in inches will give you the quick conversion instantly.

Use Google as a Calculator

Did you know that Google Search has a built-in calculator? You can do basic math and even some advanced problems right in Google Search.

To bring up the calculator, you can either type in calc or begin by typing in a math problem like 140+453. You can find percentages by typing in 70% of 4500.

Hide Mature Content

If you’re performing a search and it brings up mature content like porn sites, you can disable these results from showing by customizing Google’s SafeSearch features.

To do this, click on the gear icon toward the upper-right corner of the webpage and then click on Turn on SafeSearch if it isn’t already. From there, explicit content will be filtered out.

Reverse-Search Images

If you have a photo, but want to see if a larger version exists, you can use Google to essentially reverse-search an image to find either similar images or duplicates posted on other web pages.

To do this, go to Google Image Search and click on the small camera icon to the right of the search bar. You can either paste in an existing URL of an image or upload one yourself. From there, Google will search for that image and you’ll get your results.

Search By Voice

Google Now on mobile devices lets you quickly search by using your voice, but you can also do that on the desktop with the Google Chrome web browser.

To the right of the search bar is a microphone icon. Clicking on it will activate voice search just like in Google Now. From there, you can simply just search for something or ask Google a question and it will come up with an answer for you. You can also use voice-activation so that you can simply just say “OK, Google” and have the voice search pop up.

View Newspaper Archives

You may have not known this, but Google has a news archive where it stores copies of a ton of different newspapers dating back to 1800s.

You can view the archive and look through old issues of newspaper, either for a school project or just for fun and giggles. It’s always a blast to go back in time and see what the news was like.

Compare Products

Not sure if you should get the Apple TV or the Roku? Google can help you make a decision.

Simply type in Apple TV vs Roku in the Google search box and it will bring up results to web pages comparing the two products, giving you quick access to comparisons in order to help make an informed decision.

Filter Results for Recipes

Looking for recipes? That’s great, but what if you’re looking for recipes with specific cook times and even a specific calorie count? Google can help.

When you search for a recipe, Google will pick that up and let your filter out certain recipes in order to quickly find one that you’re looking for. After performing a search, click on Search Tools and you’ll be offered with many options to filter out certain recipes, such as ingredients, cook time, number of calories, etc.

Flip a Virtual Coin to Make Decisions

Sometimes, we need to make a decision, but it’s just so difficult to do so, which usually results in flipping a coin.

However, if you don’t have a coin nearby, Google can flip one for you. Simply type in flip a coin in the search box and Google will flip a virtual coin for you.

Roll a Virtual Dice

Need a dice for a board game, but it’s lost somewhere? You can use Google Search instead.

Just like with flipping a virtual coin, Google can roll a virtual dice. Simply type in roll a dice and Google will roll one right in front of your eyes.

Search for Specific Filetypes

If you need to find a PDF of a user manual that you accidentally threw out, Google can help you find it.

Searching for “dyson vacuum manual” can sometimes bring up a PDF version of the full manual, but to get specific results, you can tell Google to only show PDF files, or any other filetype for that matter. Simply click on the gear icon toward the upper-right corner of the web page and click on Advanced Search.

Toward the bottom there will be a dropdown for filetype. Choose one and then click Advanced Search.

Set a Timer

If you need quick access to a countdown timer, Google can do it for you.

Simply type in set timer for 15 minutes (or however long you need) and Google will start a timer for that amount of time. You can even expand the timer to full-screen if you need it to be front and center.

Quickly Check the Weather

One of the most popular uses for Google that not everyone knows about is quickly checking the weather, which can be done right in Google Search.

By typing in weather zipcode (with “zipcode” being your zip code) you can see what the weather is like, along with a day-by-day forecast. You can also type in the city name if you don’t know the zip code.

Quickly Find Out Sunrise & Sunset Times

Similar to weather for a specific city, you can find out the times that the sun rises and sets by asking Google. To do this, type in sunset zipcode or sunrise zipcode, depending on which one you want the time for.

Find the Origins of a Specific Word

Maybe you’ve looked up the definition of a word (see above), but now you’re wanting to know where the word originated from and how it originated in the first place. Google can give you a history lesson on that.

Type in word origin (with “word” being a word of your choice) and Google will tell you the origin of that word, including what region it came from and when it originated.

Get the Time for a Specific City

Managing different time zones can be confusing, especially if you’re like me and have numerous co-workers in different time zones. However, Google can quickly tell you the local time in a specific city.

By typing in time city (with “city” being the city of your choice), you can see what time it is there. You can also type in the zip code as well, but most people will know the city name before the zip code anyway.

Find Out Your IP Address

There aren’t very many cases where you’ll need to know your IP address, but in case you do, Google can give it to you.

By typing in what is my IP, you’ll quickly see what your external IP address is. This can useful if you use a VPN and want to know if it’s working or not. By using this trick, you can see if your IP address really is being modified by your VPN service.

Quickly Look Up Stock Information

If you invest in the stock market, you probably look up how your stocks are doing fairly frequently, and Google is a good source to go to for that.

Type in the stock symbol for a company and Google will instantly bring up stock information. You can also view the history of the stock price.

Get the Date for a Specific Holiday

Not sure when Presidents Day is? Google can help!

By typing in the holiday, Google will bring up the date of that holiday so that you know what day of the month it is, as well as what month it’s in so that you don’t accidentally miss it when it rolls around.

Track a Package

If you ordered something from Amazon, you can track the package using Google Search.

By typing in the tracking number in the search box, Google will see that it’s a tracking number and will provide you with a link to tracking information, such as whether or not your package is out for delivery or if it’s still in transit.

See What Movies Are Playing in Your Area

If it’s Friday night and you feel like seeing a movie, Google Search can help you quickly find what movies are playing in local theaters.

By typing in movies zipcode (with “zipcode” being your zip code), you’ll get a list of movies that are playing in your area, along with the times that they’ll be playing.

Look Up Sports Scores

If you were out and about and weren’t able to watch the game, you can use Google to look up sports scores of your favorite team.

Simply type in ColtsPacers, Flyers, etc. to view sports scores of that team. You may have to get specific, such as entering in Carolina Panthers, instead of just panthers.

Look Up Health Info When You Get Sick

One of the newest features to Google Search is being able to view symptoms and other health info if you’re feeling sick.

If you ended up getting pink eye and want to know if it’s contagious, simply typing in pink eye will bring up some important information about the disease, along with remedies on how to cure it.

Translate Words or Phrases

Some people can speak many different languages, but if you only know one language and need to translate a word into a different language or vice versa, you can use Google Search to do so.

Google has its own separate translate tool, but if you quickly just need a word translated, you can type in something like What is chocolate in German to get the German word for chocolate.

Set Reminders

While your phone probably has its own reminder app, you can set a quick reminder in Google almost instantly, without fiddling with any apps.

Simply just open up Google Search and type in something like Remind to check the laundry in an hour. This does require you to have Google Now enabled on your smartphone so that you’ll receive a Google Now card when the reminder hits.

Look Up Food Nutrition Facts

Are you about to chop into those potato chips? Think twice before you do by getting the nutrition facts for different foods right in Google Search.

You can type in banana facts to get nutritional information about bananas or any other food for that matter, even potato chips.

Quickly Find Customer Service Phone Numbers

We all hate calling customer service, but it’s usually finding the number to call that seems to be the most tedious process. However, you can quickly search Google for practically any customer service number.

For instance, typing in Verizon customer service will instantly bring up the number to call if you need to get a hold of a customer service representative at Verizon.

Look Up Restaurant Menus

Looking to go out for a meal? Choosing a restaurant is hard enough, but once you get there, you have to then choose what you want to eat. Fortunately, you can do that ahead of time with Google Search.

By typing in something like Buffalo Wild Wings menu, you can view the whole menu instantly in Google Search and figure what you want to eat. This doesn’t work with every restaurant, but any of the larger chains and popular locals restaurants will have this feature.

View Specific Google Drive Photos

If you use Google Drive to store and view your photos, you can actually use Google Search to essentially search your photo library.

By typing in View my photos in July 2014 (or whatever time frame you want to specify), Google will bring up any photos that were taken during that month, right in Google Search, so that you don’t have to go hunting for them in Google Drive.

Get Answers to Entertainment Questions

Let’s see if this sounds familiar: You’re watching a movie and you begin to argue with your friends on what other movies Steve Carell is in. Let Google settle it for you.

By typing in something like What other movies is Steve Carell in, you’ll get a full list of movies that star Steve Carell, and you can finally put that argument to bed once and for all.

Find the Nearest Store

Are you hankering for a nice mocha and need to where the nearest coffee shop is? Google Maps can help, but so can Google Search.

By typing in Where is the nearest coffee shop, Google Search will bring up a list of coffee shops that are close by, and from there you can view more info or get directions through Google Maps.

Quickly Calculate Tips

There are many calculator apps that focus on calculating meal tips, but you can do it right in Google Search without any extra apps of any kind.

Quickly type in tip $73 (or however much your meal costs), and Google Search will pop up a tip calculator right there in the window. It’ll even give you the total after the tip, which is very helpful.

Find Stuff to Do in a New City

It’s not hard to find stuff to do in a big city, especially if you’re there for vacation and planned ahead, but if you find yourself there for business and have some free time, you might find yourself wondering what to do in the area.

Luckily, you can type in attractions Indianapolis (or any city for that matter) and you’ll get a list of popular attractions and other touristy hot spots for non-locals.

50 Google Search Tips & Tricks is a post by Craig Lloyd from Gotta Be Mobile.

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How to Turn off Facebook Sounds on Android

GottaBeMobile - Sun, 02/15/2015 - 17:44

How to Turn off Facebook Sounds on Android is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

These days Facebook changes a lot of different options and settings on the fly, and this is especially true for its mobile application on Android and iOS. Recent updates to the Facebook app have introduced all kinds of obnoxious sounds, and below we’ll explain how to turn off all these Facebook noises.

Facebook has changed a lot over the past few years, and we’re even hearing news this week that an update is currently being tested to bring its design up to date with Android 5.0 Lollipop and Google’s new material design guidelines. That said, this is about disabling all those “pops” “slurps” and other goofy noises it makes when refreshing the page, and doing other activities on the social network.

Read: How to Stop Facebook Auto-Play Videos

You may have noticed some new sounds coming from your smartphone or tablet lately while using Facebook, and that’s because for some odd reason they’ve added tons of noises. They’re rather obnoxious, and many users all over Facebook and Twitter are calling them extremely annoying, so here’s how to turn them off.

To be clear we’re not disabling or turning off Facebook notification sounds, or Facebook Messenger notification noises. This tutorial and quick guide is how to turn off all the new sounds the app has been making as of late. When you like a post, hit refresh, comment on someones post and more, they all make silly noises. A recent update added them, and thankfully you can turn them all off in a matter of seconds, and just a few taps in settings.

For iOS and Android users this only takes a few taps in settings > app settings > sounds and you’re all done, and below are a few photos for a visual guide to help you turn off Facebook’s new noises.

Advertisement (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Instructions

In Facebook on Android simply tap the three lines icon near the top right of the display (not the top one with a user logo) but the second one shown in the image below. This brings you to the first settings menu. Then scroll down to “App Settings” and select this as show below.

From here all you need to do is uncheck the circle next to “sounds” and that’s it, you’re all done. This has removed all those silly and obnoxious new sounds that have been recently added to the Facebook mobile app.

While you’re in Facebook’s app settings, it’s also a good idea to scroll around and see what else is here. They’ve hidden most app settings in here, many of which I’ve disabled myself. Some of those include auto-playing videos, location information in messages (which is a good idea to disable simply for security reasons) and much more.

You can also clear some space on your device by clearing your Facebook app browsing data and history, and much more. Scrolling down a little further is where you can manage all the things you’ll get notified about as well, which can also cut down on the amount of noise coming from your device due to Facebook.

That’s it. Settings > App Settings > and uncheck Sounds and you’re all done. See, that wasn’t too hard was it? Why Facebook added all these in the first place is beyond us, but to each his own. Now you can enjoy a much quieter Facebook experience.

How to Turn off Facebook Sounds on Android is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

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How to Use Your Phone as a Fire TV Stick Remote with the Fire TV App

GottaBeMobile - Sun, 02/15/2015 - 17:36

How to Use Your Phone as a Fire TV Stick Remote with the Fire TV App is a post by Kevin Purcell from Gotta Be Mobile.

The Amazon Fire TV Stick works great as a streaming video device thanks to the low price and small form factor, but without the voice search built into the remote the device doesn’t do as much as the larger Amazon Fire TV set-top box. Fire TV Stick owners can use their phone as a Fire TV Stick remote control using the Fire TV App, which includes the missing voice search capabilities left out of the cheaper $39 Fire TV stick.

For more on the Fire TV Stick see our review and comparisons to the Google Chromecast and the Roku Streaming Stick.

We’ll show users how to set up the app and use it as a remote control with the voice search feature that doesn’t come with the included Fire TV Stick ($39) remote from Amazon. Alternatively, users could also buy the voice-capable remote for $29.99 extra, but doesn’t make sense when the user can get the free app.

Setting Up the Fire TV App on a Phone

First, go get the Fire TV App for the smart phone. Amazon makes a free remote app for various types of smart phones with links as follows:

We assume that the user already set up their Fire TV Stick and connected it to a local Wi-Fi network. To set up the phone app, the user must connect the phone and the Fire TV Stick to the same Wi-Fi network.

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Fire up the app and it will find the Fire TV Stick on the network. Tap the name of the stick to connect the remote and the stick and it displays the Fire TV App remote control screen.

If the remote doesn’t show the stick, check the following:

  • Double check that the phone and the stick connect to the same Wi-Fi network
  • Restart both the phone and the Fire TV Stick
  • Uninstall the app and reinstall it
  • As a last resort, reset the Fire TV Stick using the Settings menu on the Fire TV Stick
Searching with Voice Using the Fire TV App

At the top of the screen there’s a mic icon. Tap and hold the icon and drag down without letting go. Speak into the phone’s mic while still holding down the mic icon and say what you want to search for. The app will search for things like actor names, movie or TV show titles and app names.

Once the remote app sends the search to the stick, it will show a list of things found with that search string included. For example, in the video demo above I searched for “Jack Ryan” and it found the various movies based on Tom Clancy’s character. I also searched for “West Wing” and it found the TV series. Then I searched for “Netflix” it showed the app title.

When the screen shows the list of results, tap on one of the items by swiping down till the item’s selected and then tap on the touch part of the app. It selects that item, telling the Fire TV Stick to show that thing.

Controlling the Fire TV Stick with Fire TV App

The app also includes a virtual remote control user-interface. The main part of the screen mimics a touch pad. Swipe left, right, up or down. Doing so behaves like the directional buttons on the physical Fire TV Stick remote.

Swipe left or right and up or down on the large blank area to move the selection on the Fire TV Stick

Tapping on the touch area of the app acts like the center select or enter button on the remote.

Once the right item gets highlighted on the Fire TV Stick screen, tap on the open area to selection that highlighted item.

Notice at the top and bottom of the screen above, the app shows two sets of buttons. At the top left of the voice search button we see the menu button, which brings up the Fire TV Stick menu. On the other side of the voice search button there’s a keyboard button. The keyboard brings up the phone’s keyboard, letting the user type instead of entering data with the on-screen keyboard and the remote control. This makes entering user names, email address and passwords faster and more efficient.

Slide up using the right side button with the three horizontal lines. This shows these playback controls.

At the bottom of the screen we get three more buttons. The left-most button is the back button. It goes back to the previous screen on the Fire TV Stick. The Home button takes the user to the Home screen on the Fire TV Stick. The last button slides up to show playback controls. It confused me at first, because it’s not obvious that the user must tap and hold the button and slide up to show the playback buttons.

The three playback controls do what you’d expect. Rewind video, play or pause video and fast forward video. These buttons also control music and slide shows.

Thanks to the Fire TV App, the Fire TV Stick does all that the Amazon Fire TV set-top box does but at less than half the price. The full size box costs $100 while the Fire TV Stick costs only $39. Users can add the physical remote with voice search for only $29, but why would you when the phone app does voice search just as well and adds a keyboard for data entry.

How to Use Your Phone as a Fire TV Stick Remote with the Fire TV App is a post by Kevin Purcell from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Surface Pro 3 Review

GottaBeMobile - Sat, 02/14/2015 - 18:17

Surface Pro 3 Review is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

For years, it’s been the belief of most that hardware is only as good as the software running on it. Make no mistake, this is true. It’s why Apple’s iPhone first took off and is still popular. It’s why millions of users install Microsoft Office on their machines despite there being free alternatives. It’s also true that software is only as good as the hardware it runs on. Never has there been a battle example of that than with Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3.

At first glance, the Surface Pro 3 is just a tablet. Only by examining the processors that power it and experiencing the accessories that complement it can you truly Surface Pro 3 for is: a 2-in-1. The Surface Pro 3 isn’t a tablet, it’s a notebook with the powers of a Desktop disguised as tablet. In short, it’s a device designed to give users the best Windows 8.1 experience possible.

Read: Surface Pro 3 Impressions – Has Microsoft Succeeded Where Apple Failed?

The Surface Pro 3 succeeds at giving users the best of a Windows tablet and Windows notebook, mostly.

Surface Pro 3 Review – Design & Internals

Throw out everything you know about Microsoft hardware because we’ve never seen a device come out of Microsoft that’s as well designed as the Surface Pro 3. In fact, it’s about the most incredible looking piece of hardware Microsoft has ever produced, and that’s saying something. The company has a long history of making portable media players, gaming machines, keyboards, webcams and other PC-related accessories.

A black border surrounds a 12-inch 2160 x 1440 display. To the right of that high-end detailed display is a touch-sensitive Windows button. Above that display is an ambient light sensor, a microphone and a 5 megapixel front-facing web camera. The sides and rear of the Surface Pro 3 are made of a hard magnesium pioneered by Microsoft.

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Read: Surface Pro 3 vs the iPad Air 2

Microsoft could have made the Surface Pro 3 a boxy thin tablet, but it didn’t. The edges of the Surface Pro 3 house a single USB full-size USB port, power button, keyboard connector, mini display port, headphone jack, volume buttons and a vent that you’ll barely notice. The edges gently slope, making the Surface Pro 3 more comfortable to hold. Around back is a rear-facing 5 megapixel camera and a kickstand.

Even today, roughly half a year after Microsoft first revealed the Surface Pro 3, its design is still awe-inspiring. The device feels high-end, like a piece of jewelry you’ll get a kick out of showing off at your local coffee chop. You’ll get questions, you’ll get compliments and that’s rare for a device produced by anyone that isn’t Apple.

The Surface Pro 3 is arguably the best designed 2-in-1 you can find, it’s kickstand sturdy and robust.

Surface Pro 3 Review – Features

The aforementioned kickstand is the first hint that there’s something different about the Surface Pro 3. It looks a lot like the Surface 2 that came before it, but the similarities are mostly skin deep. Forget ARM processors that don’t allow you to install apps like iTunes, The Surface Pro 3 has the heart of notebook. Each version is endowed with a 4th generation Intel Core processor and at least 4GB of RAM. What’s running on the Surface Pro 3 is a full copy of Windows 8.1 without compromises. You can run all of your favorite apps on this tablet plus what’s available from the Windows Store. For example, Adobe Photoshop is compatible with the special pressure sensitive pen that comes with the Surface Pro 3.

That kickstand, processing power and Windows 8.1 are like raw gun poweder.  Add the $129 Type Cover and the amount of things you can do with the Surface Pro 3 explodes. That keyboard locks in place below the screen, flip out the keyboard and you’ve got one of the world’s thinnest notebook PCs. In most situations the setup is ideal, the kickstand manages some crazy angles and provides solid support. Together with the cover, you’ve got a decent lap experience – something the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 failed at miserably.

Even the base model Surface Pro 3, which costs $799 without a cover, lasts about 9 hours and is capable of running any app you throw at it. Most of the time, it happens with minimal fan noise. That pen allows users to take notes without first unlocking the Surface Pro 3.

Surface Pro 3 Review – Conclusion

If this sounds a lot like a glowing review, then I haven’t managed to fool you. Since purchasing the Surface Pro 3 last fall, I’ve become a Microsoft hardware convert. It’s not the coolness factor that has me convinced, its Microsoft’s attention to detail.

Connected Standby was one of the few unique things about the Surface 2. Because the Surface 2 had innards similar to an iPad, it could run in a low power state. It always has your latest emails and could surface a notification when it appeared off. The Surface Pro 3 has this and it’s amazing what how convenient it is having your main PC updating silently does for your productivity.

Older Surface Pros convinced me of digital note taking’s usefulness, but only using the Surface Pro 3’s high-end metal, pressure sensitive stylus turn I turn into a full convert. Press the purple button and you’re immediately in OneNote.

I’ve played games like Star Trek Online and Sim City on the Surface Pro 3 with Core i3 processor with no problem – though I’ve had to adjust their settings because Microsoft employs some throttling that certainly does mess with processing power during long gaming sessions. That and Microsoft’s decision to charge $799 for an entry-level Surface Pro 3 without a Touch Cover are the only missteps here.

Read: Surface Pro 3 Buying Guide – What You Need to Know

The Surface Pro 3 is a productive, gaming-worthy beast. It’s also Windows 8.1 presented in a way that makes sense. Anyone who has used the operating system extensively knows that is no small feat.

Surface Pro 3 Review is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

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10 Best Galaxy Note 4 Accessories

GottaBeMobile - Sat, 02/14/2015 - 17:15

10 Best Galaxy Note 4 Accessories is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

The best Galaxy Note 4 accessories deliver more value and productivity for users without adding a lot of bulk to carry or a huge expense. These are the best Galaxy Note 4 accessories that we could find after using the Note 4 for several months at home, on the road and at work.

Thanks to a large screen the Galaxy Note 4 delivers easy access to productivity and you can boost that even more with a selection of important Galaxy Note 4 accessories that make work more productive or make entertainment activities even more relaxing.

After testing and going hands-on with many Note 4 accessories it is clear that these are the best options out there to add features to your Galaxy Note 4.

You can also use our Galaxy Note 4 tips and tricks to do more without buying many accessories, though you will need one or two to complete your access to all the Note 4’s hidden features and hard to find options.

Unlike some phones, you don’t need to buy special gloves to use with the Galaxy Note 4, as you can turn the screen on to a high-sensitivity mode that works while you wear ordinary gloves. There is also no need for a stylus thanks to the included S Pen that delivers many great features thanks to hardware and software.

After spending a lot of money on the Galaxy Note 4 you may not want to spend even more on accessories, but you can use this list of the best Note 4 accessories to make sure that the money you do spend is worth it. You can find many of these Galaxy Note 4 accessories on Amazon, at Best Buy and at carriers. If you get an employee discount at your carrier you should ask if you can also save 25% or more when you buy accessories through them.

.gbmslideshow { border-width: 0px; } #gbmslideshow { border-width: 0px; } Samsung Galaxy Note 4 S View Cover1 / 10

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 S View Cover is an excellent Galaxy Note 4 case that doesn't cover up all the metal frame and still delivers a great feel on the back of the phone. The cover protects the front of the Galaxy Note 4 from scratches and you can still see alerts and even take calls with the cover closed.

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Samsung also offers the S View Cover with padding in more color options, an S View Wallet Cover and a Wallet Flip Cover. You can check out our longer list of the best Galaxy Note 4 cases you can buy for more options.

$28 at Amazon

1 / 10

10 Best Galaxy Note 4 Accessories is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Samsung Galaxy S6 vs HTC One M8: What We Know So Far

GottaBeMobile - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 21:34

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs HTC One M8: What We Know So Far is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 will soon offer a new option for smartphone shoppers that many users should wait for and all signs point to a metal design that many HTC One fans love on the HTC One M7, M8 and the rumored HTC One M9. Our Samsung Galaxy S6 vs HTC One M8 comparison will help set expectations for users who are thinking of upgrading from the HTC One M8 to the Galaxy S6 or who are trying to decide which of these they should buy.

Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors are arriving faster than ever as we pull within two weeks of the Galaxy S6 announcement and the HTC One M8 is almost a year old, which means we know a lot about this device.

While we don’t know everything about the Samsung Galaxy S6 we have a very good idea of what to expect and thanks to the latest leaks we have a great Galaxy S6 concept that shows what it could look like.

Read: Galaxy S6 Concept Brings Rumors to Life

The Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 competed for the last year and on the same day that Samsung plans to announce the Galaxy S6 we expect to see HTC show off the HTC One M9. Many buyers will be looking at those two devices, but for users who are upgrading or comparing deals with the latest smartphones this is a look at what we know so far.

Here’s what to expect from the Galaxy S6 vs HTC One M8 comparison.

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Although some rumors pointed to a 5.5-inch Galaxy S6 it now looks like the device will be closer in size to the HTC One M8 that includes a 5-inch display. The HTC One M8 stood out in the Android market with a metal design, but it looks like the Galaxy S6 will deliver that major upgrade this year.

We can’t know everything about the Galaxy S6, but thanks to several key leaks we have a good idea what Samsung will announce. Here is how the Galaxy S6 vs HTC One M8 comparison stacks up.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Release Date

The Samsung Galaxy S6 announcement is on March 1st in Barcelona, Spain. This is at the start of Mobile World Congress 2015. There will be a live stream of the event for users to watch from home.

We expect a fast Galaxy S6 release after the event and recent reports delivered two potential ranges for a Galaxy S6 release date.

Expect a swift Galaxy S6 release date.

Currently rumors point to vacation blackouts from March 22-30 and April 19-27 for Samsung Mobile employees. And the same dates are blacked out for Samsung retail employees in a memo that tells workers, “Exciting things are just around the corner!”

There is a very good chance that the U.S. Galaxy S6 release date will take place during one of these time periods and that we will see Galaxy S6 pre-orders before the release.

The HTC One M8 release arrived in early 2014, right after the announcement.

Design

The HTC One M8 delivered a metal design while the Galaxy S5 lacked this feature.

The HTC One M8 refined the metal design from the first HTC One to deliver a phone that felt better in the hand and it came with HTC Advantage that covered one cracked screen replacement within six months at no additional cost.

Read: HTC One M8 Review

Leaks show a Samsung Galaxy S6 design that uses a metal frame and possibly a glass back like you can see in our Galaxy S6 renders. The video below shows off what the Galaxy S6 design might look like.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 dimensions in our concept are 143.30 x 70.81 x 6.91 mm, which are in line with rumors. The exact measurements may change. This is similar to the HTC One M8 dimensions of 146.4 x 70.6 x 9.4 mm, but a little shorter overall.

We expect to see a new home button that delivers a fingerprint reader that users can press a finger on to unlock the phone, similar to how Touch ID works. The HTC One M8 does not include a fingerprint reader.

HTC includes a Micro SD card on the One M8 and we expect to see Samsung continue to offer this. There is no user-replaceable battery on the HTC One M8 and we could see Samsung follow this trend as part of the upgraded design.

Display

The Samsung Galaxy S6 display will likely deliver an upgraded 2K resolution with a 5.1-inch screen. The HTC One M8 offers a 5-inch 1080P display. This means the Galaxy S6 will deliver a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution with 575 pixels per inch compared to a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution with 441 pixels per inch on the HTC One M8.  The Galaxy S6 display rumors come from multiple leaks including some on Samsung’s own website.

Expect a great Galaxy S6 display.

Samsung already demonstrated that they can make a great looking, power friendly 2K display with the Galaxy Note 4, so it isn’t that much of a shock to see this upgrade. If the Galaxy S6 display is anything like the one in the Note 4, which received a lot of praise, you can expect an amazing way to use the phone.

A 1080P display like on the HTC One M8 isn’t bad, it’s a pretty common resolution still, but the higher resolution screens can show more detail in photos and videos.

The HTC One M8 display matched up well with the Galaxy S5.

All signs also point to two Galaxy S6 models, including one with a curved edge that could be the Galaxy S6 Edge. Expect a higher price, and possible a slower release for this model. Read our Galaxy Note Edge impressions for a look at what the curved screen can do on a Samsung phone.

Specs

You can’t judge a phone on specs alone, but when you look at the rumored Galaxy S6 specs next to ehe year-old HTC One m8 specs there are some clear upgrades.

  • 64-bit Exynos 7 Processor
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop with TouchWiz
  • 5.1-inch Quad HD display – 2560 x 1440 – 575 pixels per inch
  • 32GB storage in U.S. with support for 128GB micro SD cards
  • 5MP front-facing camera
  • 16MP or 20MP camera with Optical Image Stabilization
  • 4G LTE
  • 802.11ac WiFi
  • IR port
  • Touch fingerprint sensor
  • NFC

The HTC One M8 front-facing speakers deliver sound that competitors can’t match.

 

The HTC One M8 lacks a fingerprint sensor and the camera did not live up to the hype. The front-facing speakers on the HTC One M8 deliver loud clear sound, that the competition has a hard time matching.

  • 2.3 GHz Quad-core Snapdragon 801
  • 5-inch 1920 x 1080p HD display
  • 2GB RAM
  • 32GB internal storage (Micro-SD expansion support)
  • 4 Ultrapixel camera (new second Duo Camera) and 5MP front, dual flash
  • Android 5.0.1 Lollipop with Sense Available or Coming Soon
  • Front facing speakers
  • infrared port for remote
  • NFC
  • 2,600 mAh battery

We expect a 16-20MP camera on the Samsung Galaxy S6 with Optical image stabilization. This should deliver better photos in low light. On the front, expect a 5MP sensor with support for a wide-angle selfie feature. Expect similar options to the Galaxy Note 4 camera app, shown below.

The HTC One M8 features two rear-facing cameras that use larger pixels and great photo editing software that let you blur the background, create a video of your recent photos and videos and perform other tasks, but the photos aren’t as sharp as we would like.

Software

The HTC One M8 runs Android 5.0.1 on several carriers and an update is on the way for many others. The Samsung Galaxy S6 will arrive with Android 5.0 Lollipop, possibly Android 5.0.1 or Android 5.0.2.

The video below shows the HTC Sense 6 software on the HTC One M8 including BlinkFeed and other HTC tweaks that change the look of Android slightly and adds features.

We don’t know what the Galaxy S6 software will look like, but the rumors indicate Samsung will tone down the TouchWiz changes and the added apps that normally come with a Samsung device. We saw this trend from the Galaxy S5 to the Galaxy Note 4 and expect greater slimming of bloat for the Galaxy S6.

Carriers & Price

You can buy the HTC One M8 on all major U.S. carriers including Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T and US Cellular. The HTC One M8 is also available on pre-paid networks like Net10, GoPhone, and other smaller regional carriers. On a two year contract at a carrier store you can expect to pay $99 to $199 when you sign a new two-year contract. You can also buy the HTC One M8 on Amazon for $99 on most carriers. There are also $0 down options if you want to pay for the price of the phone ove the course of a year or longer without a service contract.

You can expect the U.S. Galaxy S6 carriers to include as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and U.S. Cellular. DOn’t count on pre-paid options right away or regional carriers. We are waiting for pricing information, but you can count on $199 to $249 on contract and an off contract price from $650 to $680. This would equal out to a $25 to $30 a month payment with many of the $0 down options.

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs HTC One M8: What We Know So Far is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

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NBA Live 15 Coming to EA Access on Xbox One

GottaBeMobile - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 20:53

NBA Live 15 Coming to EA Access on Xbox One is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

Today, playing Electronic Arts’ professional basketball game on the Xbox One costs $59.99, but a leak from Microsoft’s Xbox website indicates that will change very soon. A new image on the site shows that NBA Live 15 is joining the assortment of titles available through Electronic Art’s EA Access subscription service.

News of Electronic Arts adding NBA Live 15 to EA Access spread quickly after Microsoft quietly updated its Xbox One homepage to reflect the game’s inclusion in the service. A caption for the picture invites users to “get NBA Live 15 for free.” Clicking on the banner only takes users to the standard digital version of the game that Microsoft already sells in the Xbox Store. NBA Live 15 wasn’t yet listed in the EA Access Hub that Microsoft lets users download directly to their console. Normally, NBA Live 15 costs $59.99 digitally.

EA Access is a video game subscription service available exclusively on the Xbox One since this past summer. A year of the service costs users $29.99 a month while $4.99 gets Xbox One owners a month-long membership. In exchange for that, users get access to the Vault, a library of video games that they can download straight to their console – complete with any additional downloadable content at no additional charge. EA periodically adds to the EA Access Vault, giving users who haven’t subscribed more incentive to join. Today, the Vault offers Need for Speed Rivals, Madden NFL 25, FIFA 14, Battlefield 4, Peggle 2 and Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare. The last tile Electronic Arts added to the service was EA Sports UFC.

Read: Is EA Access Worth Buying?

NBA Live 15 coming to EA Access is big news. It’s only the second high-profile sports game to be added to EA Access since launch. It doesn’t hurt that the service doesn’t offer a single basketball game today, somewhat limiting its appeal.

For EA Access to be successful as a video game subscription service Electronic Arts needs to keep adding fresh titles that Xbox One owners might want to invest in. The value is pretty clear for sports titles, new versions of Madden, FIFA and NBA Live arrive regularly. Before EA would have to convince buyers that it was worth buying a new copy of each franchise every year just to get new features. EA Access somewhat negates that. Users can subscribe to EA Access and play the games inside the Vault for as much as they want. Later they can choose to cancel the service if they don’t like the game or purchase a digital version outright and have their game save transfer over.

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Besides easily downloadable titles for a flat rate, EA Access also includes other perks. Electronic Arts cuts the price of EA Access titles by 10% if they’re purchased through the Xbox Store. Additionally, EA Access subscribers get to play unreleased games before those who plan to purchase those same games in stores. It’s probably the best deal available in gaming today – provided you’re into any of the titles available in The Vault.

Unfortunately, EA Access isn’t yet available on the Xbox 360, Windows PCs or Sony’s PS4 gaming console. Last year, Electronic Arts confirmed that it’d approached Sony about offering the service too, but Sony didn’t see the value in offering it to its users. That’s not necessarily great for PS4 users, but it makes sense for Sony. The company offers PlayStation Now, a video game rental and streaming service of its own. The two services would have competed directly for the same users.

To subscribe to EA Access Xbox One owners should download the EA Access Hub from the Xbox Store. Then select the sign up button inside the app and choose whether they’d like to prepay for a year or a month. Xbox Live will immediately bill the payment method attached to the user’s Xbox Live account.

NBA Live 15 Coming to EA Access on Xbox One is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop Release Pushes Ahead

GottaBeMobile - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 18:28

Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop Release Pushes Ahead is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop release that started earlier this week continues to gain solid ground as the highly anticipated Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 update is now rolling out to one of the most well known Galaxy Note 4 variants.

In December, Samsung started rolling out its Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Lollipop update. Many expected the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop to roll out next given the device’s status as a current flagship though that’s not how things played out. Instead, the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop updates leapfrogged the Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 upgrade leaving Galaxy Note 4 users wondering when their update might roll out.

Samsung answered those questions earlier this week when it started rolling the Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update out for the first time. The first Galaxy Note 4 update went out to the international Exynos variant stationed in Poland bringing a number of huge upgrades to owners of that specific device in that specific region.

Yesterday, just a day after the start of the roll out, the Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop release spread to another variant in another part of the world. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update is currently pushing in South Korea to the Exynos variant on SK Telecom. Other prominent South Korean carriers shouldn’t be too far behind.

Today, Samsung’s started rolling out the Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update to another important variant in another part of the world. According to SamMobile, the Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update is now pushing to the Snapdragon 805 powered international variant in Germany. The device is also known as the SM-N910F, its model number.

It appears that this new upgrade is available through Samsung Kies which means that Galaxy Note 4 users in Germany can manually update to the Android 5.0 Lollipop upgrade right now ahead of the Over-the-Air roll out process. The OTA should begin sometime soon though it can take a week or more for the roll out to finish.

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Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update has gained a ton of ground after its initial delay. That’s three updates in the past three days. Unfortunately, it’s not clear where it will head next. Samsung’s Android updates are extremely unpredictable and it’s impossible to predict where the international roll out will head next.

Release dates for other regions remain scarce though we have seen several new details pop up in recent weeks. French carrier SFR claims that it will start rolling the Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update out in February though it hasn’t provided an exact date. The company’s early release dates serve as ETAs and not concrete release months. As is the case with all carriers, the release date is dependent on internal testing.

Canadian carrier Rogers also recently confirmed a Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update though its a little less specific. The carrier says that while the update will indeed coming at some point in the future, its release is “To Be Determined.” That’s a sign that a roll out is still probably weeks away. By comparison, it lists the Galaxy S5 Lollipop update with a release in February or March.

U.S. carriers remain silent about the Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update though the U.S. is expected to bring Android 5.0 Lollipop to the company’s flagship model. U.S. carriers tend to remain silent about release dates so there’s a good chance that owners of the Galaxy Note 4 on carriers like AT&T and Verizon will remain in the dark all the way up until the actual roll outs begin.

Samsung is also expected to roll out Android 5.0 Lollipop updates to the Galaxy S5 mini, Galaxy S5 Active Galaxy Note Edge, Galaxy Alpha, and the aging Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Those updates will join the Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4, and Galaxy Note 3, all of which have been bumped up to Samsung’s latest Android firmware.

Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop Release Pushes Ahead is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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